A sadness covered the Earth with the death of the lion called Cecil. A protective father who showed a trust in humans was brutally, needlessly deceived, wounded and killed in a premeditated, meticulously planned act ["Hunter defends lion case," News, Aug. 6].

This noble being was killed in a grossly unfair battle. His suffering seems unnecessary. Cecil's last 40 hours of life were spent eluding a hunter and perhaps fearing that his offspring would be unprotected if he fell victim to the human species.

Cecil's brother Jericho initially stepped in to protect the cubs.

This barbaric killing for a body part trophy has to end. Entirely. A body part is not a trophy in a civilized society.

The movement to end the issuance of hunting permits to kill endangered animals in Zimbabwe needs our continuous action. It starts with soul searching about the trophy display of an innocent animal. Next comes signing a petition, and then voting to pass reasonable laws that protect those that are innocent.

It's time to turn this darkness into an even brighter awakening of our human conscience. This moment has the potential to be a significant cultural evolution of humankind.

Bee Mosca, Long Beach

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The lion was killed. The euphemism used by Walter Palmer, the dentist-hunter, to describe his venture in Africa is part of the problem. "I took" the lion, he said.

No, I "take" my dog for a walk. He killed the lion and beheaded it.

We can't continue to allow these terrible outrages against the majesties of nature to be whitewashed with flowery language. This man needs to be prosecuted so that others of like mind may know that this type of barbarity will not be tolerated by decent people. If he can be sent back to Zimbabwe to face whatever punishment awaits him there, all the better.

Bill Bernstein, Dix Hills

Cecil's killing is horrific, but what is troubling is that people upset about one lion's death turn a blind eye to the torture and brutal slaughter of millions of farm animals daily.

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This is a truly astonishing degree of hypocrisy. Cows, pigs, chickens, etc., are inhumanely killed in great numbers. Because it's out of sight, it doesn't enter our consciousness.

All those outraged by Cecil's killing need to examine their diet and its impact on other living, breathing and feeling creatures. Become vegan.

Patricia Costell, Port Jefferson Station